I'm starting to breath easier now that the Steve in Yellow is almost done. I started this painting at the end of summer of 2005 and up until then it was the most ambitious painting I had started work on. Above, you can see me at work in my Queens studio in the very beginning stages of the painting. At that point things were looking good and everything seemed to be going on track. In October 2005 I claimed the picture finished and put it away. My family though that it looked like Steve, and they were right. But there was something missing. Something had missed and I couldn't put my finger on it.
Again I started to work on it. I changed the background, thinking that maybe that would do the trick. At that point the background was a flat grey white that was not working and after a few layers of color the background became more dynamic. But I was not happy. I had to rework the face.
I had asked for your opinions about some of the difficulties I was having, and I thank all of those who responded to my dilemma. You were all very helpful. But after reading through all the comments I decided that it was my job to figure things out on my own, after all it is my painting. I started adding thicker paint and things began to roll in the right direction. The face started to change for the better, and soon, I was changing the background again. I started using a Blue Ochre I had hand ground into oil and after covering the surface I thought I looked good. But two days later I decided to change that color and tone it down. As of today the painting is very close to completion and I can't wait to put it away for good.
This is the a detail of the portrait. There are some things I need to fine tune but I'm happy with it. For some reason my camera made it look too orange. This is just a small sneak peek to the final piece I'm hoping to finish by the weekend.